‘Above Taiwan:’ A Film Entirely Made Using Aerial Photography

Director Chi Po-Lin of Above Taiwan, the first documentary film entirely made with aerial photography, was killed in a plane crash on the morning of June 10, 2017. At the time, Chi was leading a crew to film the movie’s sequel in a helicopter above Hualien County in the east of Taiwan.

Chi was born on the December 27, 1964. He loved photography and had been working in aerial photography for more than two decades. On August 9, 2009, Chi was in a helicopter visiting the catastrophic landslides left by typhoon Morakot.

Stunned by the scenes of crumbled mountains from the typhoon due to overdevelopment, Chi realized that images from a plane are able to get people’s attention about the crisis that Taiwan is facing. Therefore, he participated in the film production of Above Taiwan using aerial photography exclusively.

The film opened on the November 1, 2013 in 44 theaters around Taiwan. In the film, Chi revealed the beauty and sorrow of Taiwan via the high altitude views. It disclosed 16 environmental issues, aiming to arouse people’s attention toward environmental protection.

Most of all, the film succeeded in urging the government to set up a cultivation committee for lands and to pay more attention to environmental protection.

Chi called a press conference for the filming of Above Taiwan II on the 8th of June, 2017. He also announced a new project about international aerial photography that extends beyond Taiwan. Unfortunately, two days later, the accident happened. The people of Taiwan were saddened by his death.

Translated by Jean Chen and copy-edited by Alan Cheung

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